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2020 Honda Civic: What Is the Best Engine Option?

Honda has sold cars in America for several years, redesigning their creations as they go. The newest redesign of the Civic came in 2019 to include newer exterior styling, revised drivetrain pairing, and an updated infotainment system. The biggest change, however, lies with the newer engine configurations for each trim level.

This year’s model of the Civic, the 2020 version, has four different types of engines for their sedans and coupes. Which one will bring you the most bang for your buck? U.S. News explains what types of engines the Honda Civic has that you can choose when buying a new model.

Engine options for the Honda Civic LX and Sport trims

The Honda Civic LX and Sport come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that runs at a nice 158 hp. It kicks out 138 lb-ft of torque with 4200 RPMs as reported on Honda’s website. A manual transmission will be the standard choice to pair with the base motor, but they have a continuously variable transmission as an option if you prefer to use an automatic transmission instead.

EPA estimates with the standard six-speed manual transmission go as high as 29 mpg on the city streets with 37 highway mpg. This puts the Civic over most of its competitors that run with slightly lower ratings when it comes to gas mileage. The Corolla tops the Civic by just one mile more per gallon. The Mazda3, when compared to the Civic, is significantly lower by five miles per gallon.

Engines for the other trims

For the upgraded configurations – the EX, EX-L, and Touring trims – Honda placed a 1.5-liter in-line turbocharged four-cylinder motor as the standard option. This engine runs with 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. A CVT transmission is standard on the higher trims.

The Civic Si has an in-line turbocharged engine that runs with 205 hp and has a standard manual transmission. With 192 lb-ft of torque, this motor delivers prime power on the road. For the Civic Type-R, the turbocharged motor delivers a whopping 306 hp and an impressive 295 lb-ft of torque.

When it comes to fuel economy, the EPA rates the Honda Civic’s turbocharged engines to get 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway when using the CVT. Whether you use the manual transmission in the lower trims or the CVT in the higher ones, the Civic still stays pretty competitive in the compact car segment.

Which one has more bang for your money?

This will depend on your driving habits. The 2.0-liter engine gets great gas mileage and has plenty of power to travel throughout the city. It has lots of “get up and go” when taking off from stops at intersections. If power isn’t a feature you’re looking for in your vehicle, the standard engine in the Honda Civic will do you just fine. With a lot of stop-and-go driving, the standard motor in the Civic is up to the task and will keep you going for a long time.

However, if power is one of the deciding factors when purchasing a vehicle, a turbocharged engine would be the better way to go. It offers more power for highway driving if you do a lot of long-distance traveling. When it comes to gas mileage, pairing it with a CVT transmission would be a good idea, but the manual offers more of a thrilling driving experience. The higher trims come with a CVT and a turbocharged motor already as standard, so choosing one of those would be your best bet.

The 2020 Honda Civic has four great engine options available. Whether you choose the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter or one of the turbocharged in-line four-cylinder motors, you’re sure to have plenty of power that will more than meet your needs.